Saturday, November 5, 2011

Matt 5:25 σε παραδω

In most manuscripts the words σε παραδω occur twice, but the second occurrence (after κριτης) is missing in a few manuscripts (p64vid ℵ B 0275 f1.13 205 892 pc k). Mill (12) notes that the expression was omitted because it was superfluous, and Meyer (110) that it was passed over as unnecessary "because its emphasis was mistaken." Whitney (1:66) likewise reasons that the words "appear to have been omitted with a view to freeing the sentence from a seemingly unnecessary repetition." Metzger (13) calls on the pre-Caesarean witnesses (f1.13), the Old Latin k, and the Latin translation of Irenaeus to try to argue against "the absence of the words as due to literary refinement." Yet f1.13 are merely secondary witnesses, the translator of k was certainly not immune to such motivations to omit text, and the support of Irenaeus is imaginary for reasons mentioned below. The following is the pertinent Latin text of Irenaeus (Adversus haereses 1.25.4) accompanied by my own retroversion into Greek:

cum es cum adversario tuo in via, da operam ut libereris ab eo,
ως ει μετα του αντιδικου σου εν τη οδω, δος εργασιαν απηλλαχθαι απ αυτου,

ne forte te det iudici et iudex ministro et mittat te in carcerem.
μηποτε σε δω προς τον κριτην, και ο κριτης τω υπηρετη και βαλει σε εις φυλακην.

Of the 26 Latin words and 30 Greek words, only one may be said to belong to Matthew alone, viz. ministro (= υπηρετη), but even this word is within the semantic domain of Luke's πρακτωρ and could have merely been introduced by the interpreter who was remembering Matthew. The entire first line is only from Luke, and in the second line the subject of det is omitted as in Luke, and et mittat te in carcerem is also from Luke. Thus the entire citation probably proceeds from Luke. Besides, while indeed fathers may be used to show the presence of text, they can rarely be used to prove the omission of text for the simple reason that they often omitted text themselves, often for the same reason as the few manuscripts in question here. A perfect example is Clement, who in Stromata 4.95 has γεγραπται γαρ μη ποτε παραδω σε τω κριτη ο κριτης δε τω υπηρετη της αρχης του διαβολου. Now if Clement omitted the subject ο αντιδικος because it was superfluous, how can any honest critic be certain that he did not also do the same with the second σε παραδω for the same reason? And so the seemingly superfluous expression is supported not only by the overwhelming preponderance of Greek witnesses (including D E K L M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ 33), but also by all the other Old Latin witnesses including Vercellensis (a/3)––contemporary with ℵ B––and four others of the fifth century (b/4 d/5 ff2/8 h/12), the Old Syriac, Peshitta, and all of the Coptic versions.

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